Most often, echinococcosis is found when an imaging test is done for another reason.
Many patients can be treated with albendazole or mebendazole. These medications are often used for up to 3 months. Another drug, praziquantel, may be helpful combined with albendazole or mebendazole.
The cysts may be removed with surgery, if possible. This can be a complicated surgery.
If the cysts respond to oral medication, the likely outcome is good.
The cysts may break open (rupture) and cause severe illness, including:
Low blood pressure
The cysts may also spread throughout the body.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of this disorder.
In areas where the disease is known to occur, health education and routinely removing tapeworms from dogs can help prevent the disease.
King CH, Fairley JK. Cestodes (Tapeworms).In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 29.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.